Do Awesome Things: Feb – Hopper @ The Whitney

I made a few New Years Resolutions this year, but I decided not to post the whole list to my blog, like I did last year.

There is one I want to try to write about, though:

Do one awesome thing per month, by myself.

After almost 3 years living in NY, I still don’t know very many people. I also don’t really like going out by myself. This is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy. How am I going to meet people if I stay home? How am I going to find the motivation to go out without knowing many people?

The resolution is supposed to break that cycle.

In January, I didn’t do anything awesome. In February, I went to the Whitney Museum to see their exhibit on Edward Hopper; one of my favorite painters (third, after Magritte and Pollock). What I didn’t know until I got there was that Hopper and the Whitney were closely linked. The museum frequently exhibited his paintings when it was new, and he was a budding artist. They apparently fed of each other’s successes.

Unfortunately, I think this was directly related to my disappointment with the exhibit. Have you ever gone to a concert for a well-established band, expecting to hear their classic songs, only to hear nothing but deep cuts, or stuff off their new album? That is pretty much what happened to me at the Whitney.

Nighthawks is easily Hopper’s most famous piece. I saw it in Chicago in high school, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see it here. But I really wanted to see Office in a Small City. That painting hits close to home for me – so much so I wrote an essay about it in my Art History class in high school. I was also hoping to see Summer Evening. Neither of them were there. In fact, I think the only painting I even recognized was Early Sunday Morning. I enjoyed the stuff that was there, but it was still like going to see The Rolling Stones, and hearing Bridges to Babylon, instead of Let it Bleed.

There were a couple other things that bugged me. First, there were WAY more people there than I would have expected. It was super crowded, and much louder and more chaotic than I would have expected at a museum. Secondly, the exhibit was really (something like) “Edward Hopper and his times,” which meant the stuff on the walls wasn’t even all his.

All in all, I’m glad I went, but it wasn’t as awesome as I was expecting it to be.

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